Current Screenings


“UNRESERVED” is an intimate profile of Pacific Northwest artist and activist Louie Gong (Nooksack, Squamish, Chinese, French, Scottish). In March 2009, he began merging Coast Salish art with pop culture icon Vans Shoes, to create custom skate shoes representing the complexities of multi-racial cultural identity – something he refers to as “walking in two worlds”.

While many are drawn to his shoes because they represent the meeting of multiple worlds, others simply appreciate their freshness and originality. In addition to Vans, Gong is beginning to explore new mediums for his art including yellow cedar skate decks, canvas, and clothing.

Click here for French version




A Longhouse Media Film

Cinematographer and Director

Tracy Rector

Edited by
Yolanda Cieters

Production Assistant
Dana Arviso

Still Photography by
Victor Pascual
Clarita Lefthand Begay

Featuring music by
Matt Gong “Deep End” Performed and Written by Matt Gong

Samantha Crain “Rising Sun” Performed by Samantha Crain and The Midnight Shivers

Sound Mixing by
Fiona Otway

Executive Producers
Tracy Rector
Annie Silverstein

Click here for French version

About The Filmmakers

Tracy Rector (Seminole) attended Antioch University’s First Peoples Program for her Masters in Education. She specializes in Native American approaches to learning and documentary film, in addition Tracy is a student of traditional plant medicine. As a Native Education specialist, Tracy offers unique insight to her projects. Her vision is to bring traditional and contemporaryeducation together on a foundation based in environmental stewardship.

As the co-producer of the award-winning films Teachings of the Tree People, March Point and numerous short videos including Bunky Echo-Hawk: A proACTIVE ARTist, Tracy has developed an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. Her work has been featured at National Geographic’ All Roads Film Project, the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian and on the PBS series Independent Lens. She has also been recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Native American Public Telecommunications Producers grant and the Horace Mann Award.

In addition, Tracy has worked on such projects as the Seattle Art Museum’s international exhibition S’abadeb-The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists and to the development of curriculum for IslandWood, an environmental education center. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Longhouse Media and a proud mother of two boys.

Dana Arviso a Diné woman in higher education, is currently pursuing a PhD in Education at the University of Washington, where her focus is on the out-of-school literacy experiences of Native American youth. She is especially interested in how Native youth gain opportunities to play with media and technology and how this exposure may help them to become more literate in this digital era. Dana is also a writer, college instructor, amateur photographer, avid facebooker, nonprofit bookkeeper, and a volunteer at a number of social justice-oriented nonprofit organizations.

Film Editor and Production Associate Yolanda Cieters joined Longhouse Media in 2008. She set her first steps in the world of independent filmmaking as a Production Assistant with filmmaker John de Graaf, working on the award winning films “Silent Killer: The Unfinished Campaign Against Hunger” (2005) and “Buyer Be Fair: The Promise of Certification” (2006). She broadened her filmmaking skills with a Certificate Degree in Independent Filmmaking obtained at the University of Washington and shortly thereafter joined Longhouse Media. Yolanda has been working as an editor on over twenty short films highlighting the life, work, culture, and traditions of Native peoples from artists to youth leaders to community organizations. She is the editor of the short films “Bunky Echo Hawk-Profile of a proACTIVE ARTist” (2008) and “UNRESERVED-the Work of Louie Gong” (2009). The latter was selected for award nomination at major film festivals and received the Gold Kahuna Award for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Click here for French version

Director's Statement

Wanting to walk in two world being able to be exactly who he is, Louie Gong was an immediate inspiration to me as a mixed race person. His story is a story in this day and age that many can relate to, who come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. In addition, he is not a trained artist but a self trained person who has chosen to explore his world and identity via shoe designs on Vans. He is the everyday person who has found his remarkable abilities.

Although Gong has become most noted for his shoe designs, he designs T-shirts and skateboard decks as well. The decks are carved out of cedar by his uncle, John Miranda. Although the cedar wood makes it impossible to actually ride one of these decks, it’s used because it’s a wood that grows on his reservation and is traditionally significant to the Nooksack heritage.

Production Notes
"Extreme Take Off"
In March of 2009, when Louie Gong mentioned that he was beginning to do design work on some pairs of Vans, I was immediately curious. When I first saw his shoes, I was inspired to tell his story!

Raised in a rural farm house in Canada before moving to live on a small Indian reservation in Northwestern Washington state has allowed Louie to develop a unique character and to become a remarkable person who is a gifted artist. Lucky enough to walk along side him during this amazing journey these shoes have taken him on from humble beginnings to being featured at the Vancouver World Olympics in just under a year I am honored to have been allowed into his world.


• 2010 Official Presskit (1.2 MB)
Interview with Louie Gong
Awards for "Unreserved: The Work of Louie Gong"

Production Photos

All photographs and graphic images on the site are intellectual property of Longhouse Media and Native Lens. They are not to be used in conjunction with a sales item or on a commercial Web site with proper permissions.

For high-resolution images, please e-mail us at info (at)


Commercial Photos